Allen Marquette | Sunday, 17 April 2011 - Friday, 22 April 2011
In April 2011 Allen Marquette, the Community Education Program Coordinator for the Prince William Sound Science Center traveled to Challis, a small community in central Idaho, to present several school and community programs. Over a period of four days, Allen presented a series of programs titled "Mammoths, Lions and Bears....Life in Alaska during the Last Great Ice Age." Kids and adults alike were fascinated to discover that up until just 12,500 years ago strange creatures roamed this land – huge and powerful beasts with amazing adaptations. Glaciers and permafrost still dominated much of Alaska and the lower forty eight states.
What was Alaska and North America like back then? Steppe horses roamed North America, as did camels and giant ground sloths, woolly mammoths, mastodons and bears standing twice as large as the coastal brown bears of modern day Alaska! Along with assorted skulls, teeth, claws, bones and even woolly mammoth hair, Allen showed the diverse animal and plant life that existed in Alaska and other parts of North America during the last Great Ice Age that began about 1.8 million years ago and ended just 12,500 years ago.
Over the four days in Challis, Allen presented a program to 1st grade, 2nd grade and 3rd grade classes and a program to two 4th, 5th and 6th grade classes. The last day of the visit, Allen gave a presentation to a 7th and 8th grade class with emphasis on specific animal and plant adaptations that allowed these organisms to survive in the harsh frozen environment. During the various scheduled presentations, he also showed that people arrived in North America during this time period with discussions of how humans may have interacted with the large fauna of the time.
Allen Marquette has been the Community Education Program Coordinator for the Prince William Sound Science Center for the last eight years. He manages the Discovery Room program developed for K-6 graders and also writes and records a science series for NPR radio called Field Notes which airs twice a week. He also presents a community education program that provides science lectures to the community of Cordova and Valdez on a weekly basis. He states, "I love science and the ability to share my passion with others... To share the wow factor in science... Especially with kids!"